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The Emmys Rundown

Plenty of Strapless, A Few Risks, and One Very Good Wife

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Hugh Dancy and Claire Danes   
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The 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards opened with a Glee-inspired performance of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" starring host Jimmy Fallon as the Boss and a who's who of the evening's nominees, including Tina Fey, Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, and the dirty-dancing duo of Jon Hamm and Betty White (the year's by-now ubiquitous mascot). As Fallon—who soon swapped his blue-collar Springsteen drag for Tom Ford—put it, "It's been a phenomenal year in TV." The ceremony itself moved along fairly snappily—we especially appreciated the slug at the bottom of the screen announcing "George Clooney in 17 minutes."

But if the relatively brisk pace was refreshing, the evening's fashions stuck to the contemporary awards-show script. One-shoulder gowns, as usual, were popular choices. Edie Falco's was Bottega Veneta and Joan Allen's was Michael Kors. Asymmetrical necklines weren't quite as prevalent as strapless ones, though, which turned up on Heidi Klum (seriously short Marchesa) and Claire Danes (sparkling Armani Privé). And so what if bared shoulders are predictable? We're betting any audience appreciation award would've gone to Sofia Vergara's buttercup yellow Carolina Herrera bustier dress (though Christina Hendricks' décolleté-baring Zac Posen might have been a close second).

Still, there were some risk takers. January Jones chose an electric blue Atelier Versace with cone-shaped bra cups; Tina Fey opted for jet embroidered Oscar de la Renta; Rita Wilson went with a Prada runway dress dripping in clear crystals; and Anna Paquin wore an Alexander McQueen black gown from Resort with bold gold shoulder embellishments. It had NBC’s commentators comparing her unfavorably to a matador—but really, what do they know? It brought some welcome edge to the red carpet.

Less edgy but indisputably chic was Julianna Margulies in a navy sequined L'Wren Scott tank dress. The Good Wife star also had the good fortune to receive a peck on the cheek from Clooney as she presented him with his Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, so we're calling it: She may have lost out to Kyra Sedgwick for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, but Margulies had the best night overall.

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